McKenzie v. Moore, Civil 1583

CourtSupreme Court of Arizona
Writing for the CourtCUNNINGHAM, C. J.
Citation20 Ariz. 1,176 P. 568
PartiesE. W. McKENZIE, Appellant, v. C. W. MOORE, Appellee
Docket NumberCivil 1583
Decision Date14 December 1918

176 P. 568

20 Ariz. 1

E. W. McKENZIE, Appellant,

C. W. MOORE, Appellee

Civil No. 1583

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 14, 1918

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Cochise. Alfred C. Lockwood, Judge. Affirmed.


This action was commenced to restrain acts of trespass alleged to have been committed and threatened by the appellee on appellant's Stockton mining location, and to recover damages for trespasses already committed. The plaintiff pleads ownership acquired by the valid location of a mining claim pursuant to the mining laws of the United States and of the state of Arizona, and continued possession of the premises covered by such alleged mining claim. The defendant disclaims all estate in the said premises except a prior water right acquired by him by means of appropriating the waters of Midway Spring, a spring arising from the ground within the limits of said mining location. The defendant denies plaintiff's right to possession of the premises, alleging that plaintiff's location is invalid because the ground attempted to be located as a mining claim is nonmineral in character, and plaintiff has not discovered mineral within the premises as required by law. Defendant denies all alleged acts of trespass and damages. The plaintiff replied, reasserting his (plaintiff's) actual possession of the premises and his right to possession based upon a valid mineral location. The cause was tried before the court, a jury having been waived. The court filed a statement of facts found and conclusions of law, and rendered judgment dismissing the action and awarding costs to the defendant. From such judgment and an order refusing a new trial, plaintiff appeals.

Mr. J. T. Kingsbury, for Appellant.

Mr. Harry E. Pickett, for Appellee.


[20 Ariz. 3] CUNNINGHAM, C. J.

(After Stating the Facts as Above). Without any doubt, the law is that a mineral location to be valid for any purpose must be made upon unappropriated government land open to location, in which mineral has actually been discovered in place. Until the actual discovery of mineral in place, all acts tending to consummate a valid mineral location give the locator no right other than the right to continue a reasonable search for mineral. The time given by the local statute of this state within which the location is required to be completed is limited to ninety days after the discovery of mineral on the ground (paragraph 4030, Rev. Stats. Ariz. 1913), in any event, and such additional time until conflicting rights intervene. The unquestionable right of the locator to the possession of the area within the boundaries of the claim marked on the ground by the requisite monuments as described in the location notice posted at the location monument carries the right to possession of every appurtenant belonging to the realty, including timber, soil, country rock, percolating waters, natural springs, except certain mineral [176 P. 569] springs and other things not material to this discussion. Hence, whenever the locator's exclusive right to possession of the premises with its appurtenances ceases, either by reason of his failure to perform all of the acts requisite to a complete mineral location, for instance, his failure to discover mineral in place in the ground being located within ninety days after his location was initiated, thereafter his exclusive right to possession based upon a mineral is at an end, and he is thereafter holding possession of the public lands by the sufferance of the sovereign owner. The possession so held is subject to be terminated by the government, or by any citizen of the United States qualified to acquire title to public lands, without notice, simply by initiating a claim to the same premises under some law of Congress authorizing the disposition of public lands. But until the government intervenes, or some qualified citizen of the United States initiates a better [20 Ariz. 4] claim to the possession of the premises...

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11 cases
  • Bristor v. Cheatham, No. 5334
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • January 12, 1952
    ...soil are the property of the owner and not subject to appropriation. This holding was reaffirmed in the case of McKenzie v. Moore, 1918, 20 Ariz. 1, 176 P. Page 196 568. In the Southwest Cotton Company case, 1931, [39 Ariz. 65, 4 P.2d 376.] as here, the court had urged upon it the propositi......
  • White v. Ames Min. Co., No. 8760
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 18, 1960 open and subject to entry at the time the location is made. * * * Belk v. Meagher, 104 U.S. 279, 26 L.Ed. 735; McKenzie v. Moore, 20 Ariz. 1, 176 P. 568. Lindley on Mines, 3rd edition, §§ 183, 184, et seq., makes it clear that a valid claim to mineral land could not be initiated on an ......
  • Jarvis v. State Land Dept. City of Tucson, No. 9488
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • June 24, 1969
    ...the soil has been the continuous holding of this court for seventy-five years. Howard v. Perrin, 8 Ariz. 347, 76 P. 460; McKenzie v. Moore, 20 Ariz. 1, 176 P. 568; Maricopa County Municipal Water Dist. et al. v. Southwest Cotton Co., supra; Bristor v. Cheatham, supra; State ex rel. Morrison......
  • England v. Ally Ong Hing, No. 9509--PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • September 29, 1969
    ...plaintiffs had made no valid appropriation on the ground that 'prior to 1919 spring waters were not appropriable'. In McKenzie v. Moore, 20 Ariz. 1, 176 P. 568 (1918) this Court discussed the question of what waters were appropriable under the 1913 'Percolating water, unconfined to a defini......
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